2/2/19 – Utica Comets vs. Springfield Thunderbirds

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday Saturday, Saturday, Saturday Saturday, Saturday, Saturday night’s alright …for a Utica Comets away game in Springfield following a tragically disappointing 4-0 loss to the Syracuse Crunch last night.

 

With the Comets on an uncharacteristically unfortunate losing streak despite an incredibly impressive run through January…the team looks to turn around the bad luck and pick those proverbial monkeys off their backs and try to get themselves out of those slumps and back into the scoring column while maybe picking some points up along the way!

 

Looks like Trent Cull is going to shake up the lineup a bit tonight. With Gaudette still out with illness it looks like the major shakeups will be who our centers line up with…sliding back in are Jonah Gadjovich, Colton Saucerman and Cam Darcy…while coming out of the lineup are Wacey Hamilton, Cliff Watson, Vincent Arseneau and Dylan Blujus. Can’t say I’m surprised as all 4 brought nothing much to last nights 4-0 loss.

 

Expecting a very physical, aggressive game against the Thunderbirds tonight, as they do not play a technical, creative style of hockey and instead elect to play very minor-league beer-league bruiser type of hockey in a wear em out kind of way. Will be interesting to see how the Comets combat this with bid bodies such as Blujus, Hamilton and Arseneau out of the lineup.

 

Starting Lineup

 

LW C RW
Boucher Woods MacEwen
Dahlen Kero Pyatt
Jasek Darcy Bancks
Gadjovich Gaunce Lind
LD RD
McEneny Sifers
Brisebois Schenn
Saucerman Chatfield
G
Michael Leighton

 

Some really interesting line shakeups off the start, Kero and Boucher get broken up, which is crazy as they’ve basically been paired since the very beginning…Dahlen also moved off the starting first line in place of Boucher, guess Cull too is hoping to wake-up Dahlen from his slump and get him firing on all cylinders so that he’s more than just a “powerplay guy.” Loving the Saucerman/Chatfield pairing, Saucerman has been undervalued by Cull in his time with the Comets, and I believe brings much more to the dynamic of the team on the ice than Watson. That Gadjovich/Gaunce/Lind line also looks to be seriously fucking juicy if it works out.

 

Benched
Arseneau Blujus Hamilton MacMaster Watson
1 1 1 3 1

 

RE: INJURY REPORT

 

Injury Report
Bachman Gaudette Graham Juolevi Sautner
Out for the Season ilnness upper body injury Out for the season His fucking faaaaaaaaaaace

 

Gaudette remains d2d with illness, moved Sautner back to the injury report as he’s still techinically on IR

 

Streamable Clarity Improvement Notice

 

Continuing with last issues theme, going to be Players full name (jersey number) – place in streamable (if not outright obvious) then every sub sequential play featuring that player it’ll be last name(jersey number) – place in streamable (if not outright obvious) I’m also going to reduce the amount of hyperlink in the GOAL streamables, since that’s what I think MOST people are here for and don’t want some gaudy blue taking up the screen.

 

1st period

 

Comets in Blue

 

 

Score at the end of the first period: 3-1 Comets

 

Comets had a bit of their momentum taken away from them at the end of the period off the two penalty kills on the McEneny and MacEwen minors, but otherwise they looked good, and for what feels like a long time, legitimately dangerous. Impressive periods from Lind, Gaunce, Jasek, Schenn and Woods… really digging the rookie line of Gadj/Gaunce/Lind. Hope the team can avoid getting sucked into the Bobby Farnham circus and show some more high danger scoring chances.

 

2nd Period

 

 

The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-1 Comets

 

Comets with some decent chances in this period while defending against some strong chances from the Thunderbirds as well. Comets outshot so far 27 to 21 but don’t look completely out of it….Thunderbirds physical game kind of beginning to takeover in the 2nd and are definitely trying to goad the Comets into not playing their game.

 

3rd Period

 

 

The Score at the end of the 3rd period: 4-3 Comets

 

Another brutal period where the Comets were heavily outshot again, this time 16 to 8; relief tendy Michael Leighton comes up huge with 40 saves on 43 shots in regulation. Comets powerplay goes 3 for 4 which is good because their powerplay as of late had been absolute dogshit. Loved the line shakeups we saw tonight…Kero proving effective even apart from Reid Boucher, while Boucher’s stock dips a bit off some lazy defensive efforts and what I can only equate to rage-quitting off some blown scoring chances at even strength.

 

Final Score: 4-3 Utica Comets

 

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st Utica Evan McEneny Luke Schenn Tanner Kero PPG
1st Utica Jonathan Dahlen Brendan Gaunce Kole Lind PPG
1st Utica Cam Darcy 5V5
3rd Springfield Jacob MacDonald Harry Zolnierczyk Paul Thompson PPG
3RD Utica Comets Tanner Kero Reid Boucher Luke Schenn PPG
3rd Springfield Jamie McGinn Sebastian Repo Anthony Greco PPG

 

Takeaways

  • Despite getting horribly outshot and outpossessed for the bulk of this game, the Comets eke out a victory off the strength of some great goaltending from relief tendy, Michael Leighton, great defensive efforts from all our pairings, and an effective bottom 6.
  • Loving that Cull was putting the trust in his rookie core; d-zone starts, powerplay 2nd unit time, glad to see him put them in some less than ideal situations and trusting them to work it out! Really impressed by the chemistry between Gaunce, Lind and Gadjovich early on, in general, Lind’s gameplay has been elevated as of late…almost to the date when I called him out in a Farmies for playing like he was still in junior instead of playing a more straight forward brand of hockey. Love his agitator/instigator game, very underrated aspect of his game…without it we wouldn’t have got those two early powerplay goals and probably not have won tonight so huge props to him for having a big game.
  • If that insane backcheck streamable from weeks ago of Zack MacEwen didn’t earn him a callup then tonights effort sure as hell did. Played a physical, tough game against a MUCH more physical team, WHILE still slicing and dicing his way through the offensive zone and the neutral zone to generate scoring chances…not to mention the fight for Gadjovich’s honor…despite coming away from the night with 0 points, the guys effort and creativity tonight kept the Thunderbirds on edge and constantly on the defensive whenever he held the puck…this guy is absolutely dangerous and carries a lethal skillset, I have no doubt he could produce at the NHL level with his skating and hustle. A Horvat like work ethic, without the firm defensive game. Cull is still giving him the penalty kill time to work out those issues though and I have no doubt that with his progression, we still might not know this kids ceiling.
  • Colton Saucerman deserves some praise too, broke up a lot of Thunderbird rushes into the Comets zone, and while not the best skater, the guy exudes hard work and tough physical play, he’s a bit like Biega in that sense…I think realistically with his skating, he’s probably best fit for a bottom pairing energy/physical 3rd line role, essentially, our farm teams Alex Biega…perfectly adequate in both the offensive and defensive side, but its just that one extra THING that keeps him from elevating to the next level…that isn’t to say he’s bad, I think he’s been the best fucking D-man PTO the team has picked up, infinitely better than Watson and Wyszomirski, better defensively than Jesse Graham, but worse than him in the offensive and skating department…so while he has things to improve on, he’s still a great slot on that third pairing…looked great paired with Chatfield.
  • Jasek once again is such a crafty dangerous guy, I think the one thing that’s probably keeping him from a firm call up with the big club is his shot is pretty weak…he can score goals, but I wouldn’t exactly say he’s a goal scorer…he’s like another Nikolay Goldobin but wayyyy better along the boards and with his puck control…actually battles for pucks while maintaining his craft and creative passing game. Not sure what the odds are on a 6th rounder with better defensive version of Goldobin’s game’s possibilities are in the big club, but he’s definitely worth a look later in the season
  • Luke Schenn providing a great physical veteran presence to our d-men down on the farm, incredibly effective at preventing drives to the net, I’ve yet to see him get out-muscled. He’s a bit slower than the other guys, so that probably prevents him from being a replacement for Guddy or Pouliot, but I mean the big club lacks a physical, hard hitting defenseman besides old-man Edler…so if they really wanted to get a big body on that third pairing who can actually defend, maybe swap the Gud for the Schenn. Probably like a 0.01% chance that happens though haha

 

Comets Three Stars

  1. Kole Lind
  2. Lukas Jasek
  3. Luke Schenn HM: Michael Leighton for the clutch performance tonight

 

What’s Next?

 

Unfortuantely the Farmies ONCE again takes a break, but when were back we’ll be hitting the Canucks fans with a triple dosage of content, as the Comets get their February into gear with a triple header starting with a back-to-back home stint against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Rochester Americans, followed by a road game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Going to start icing my fingers now and prep myself for the carpal tunnel to come as it’ll be a lot of hits in a short period of time!

 

Lehigh Valley are the Philadelphia Flyers farm team and are currently 3-2-0-0 in their last 5 and sit 4th in the Atlantic Division with 55 points and a .585 points percentage. Both Utica and Lehigh will be going into that Friday matchup with a 6 day break so it’ll be a total mystery to me as to how that one goes, the two teams meet only twice this season and don’t meet again until March.

With tonights victory, the Comets secure their spot for 4th in the North Division, with 43 points (6 points up on 5th place Cleveland Monsters) and carry a .552 points percentage

Until then, I Hope you guys enjoyed this edition of the Farmies, and as always any feedback, improvement suggestions, content or highlights you’d like me to focus/pick out during games, let me know and I’ll do my best to provide during the next Farmies!

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